24-27. Three detective novels

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24-27. Three detective novels

Post  Patguy on Sun Jan 09, 2011 11:41 pm

The Mystic Arts of Erasing All Signs of Death: Charlie Huston
Chinatown Beat: Henry Chang
The Manual of Detection: Jedediah Berry

Three contemporary detective novels. Mystic Arts is a very good slacker-noir first novel, Raymond Chandler-by-way-of-Raymond-Carver, and I’ll happily read any of Huston’s other books. Chinatown Beat was a real bust, even with the interesting NYC-Chinatown setting. It’s just simply not very well-written, and I won’t be reading any more Chang. Manual of Detection is an odd marriage of detective story, comedy and surreal urban fantasy, reminding me a bit of a noir Seven Faces of Dr. Lao. What was most surprising to me was how literally the fantastic elements were incorporated into the story—surreal images, such as the mountains of alarm clocks, have real diegetic functions, and although I liked this book, the final effect was kind of disappointing, as the weird dreamlike quality of the early chapters was diminished bit by bit, until the last chapters were essentially straight detective plotting.

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Re: 24-27. Three detective novels

Post  jrpstonecarver on Mon Jan 10, 2011 5:19 pm

I had to look in 4 different places before I figured out what "diegetic" meant. Smile
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